Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

August 2016

by Kerry Shamblin

Calculations are done using the Chitrapaksha ayanamsha and the mean node. Timings are based on Mountain Time Zone, US.

Leo is Loaded

The month of August begins with Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Rahu occupying the sign of Leo, joined by the Sun, ruler of Leo, mid-month. We have been seeing Jupiter and Rahu together in Leo since January 2016, when the nodes shifted to Leo (Rahu) and Aquarius (Ketu.)

Toward the end of July, Leo becomes charged with energy as the two planets of movement and activity, Venus and Mercury, move in to join Jupiter and Rahu who are now moving away from one another but still in occupation of Leo.

The Sun, ruler of Leo, joins the pack on August 16, taking the place of Jupiter who moves out to Virgo on August 11. This puts the Sun into his own throne, surrounded by the energetic planets Venus, Mercury and Rahu.

Leo is the sign of rulers and leaders, in addition to housing domains such as the creative and performing arts and other entertainment. There is some amount of lion in each one of us that guards and promotes our individuality and enjoyment. This would be a good month to indulge in some "me" time by planning activities and outings that are fun and entertaining to you.

In another light, with so many planets charging up Leo, we may also be entertained by the lions who are parading in the political sphere. Venus can bring the staff of social law that he carries while Mercury brings the banner of communication and information. With Rahu, king of secrets and conspiracy also in attendance, we may see the unearthing of scandals (Rahu) through the outlets of social media (Venus + Mercury.) With the Sun shining brightly on all situations, the opportunities for hiding may become quite small.

New Moon in Cancer August 2

The Moon and Sun join this month at 17° Cancer, just at the beginning of the nakshatra (lunar mansion) of Ashlesha, during the afternoon of Tuesday, August 2. During the new Moon, the energy of the Moon is low which can cause us to feel a lack of physical and mental energy, as well. The day leading up to the new Moon is generally preferred for reduced activities in favor of rest or retreat.

While no planets place regular aspects onto the Sun and Moon combination on this day, the mutual aspect between the signs of Cancer and Scorpio will bring some of the influence of the Saturn/Mars occupation of Scorpio to bear on this new Moon. This could indicate difficulties such as anger and depression overtaking the mind if it is vulnerable or unsteady. Emotional fluctuations can be either easily calmed or quickly inflamed depending on our underlying state of mind. Be aware of this fact during this time, as it may help to keep molehills from becoming mountains.

Ketu Moves to Shatabishak Nakshatra August 5

Ketu, having no head, does not verbalize his wishes, but it still makes sense to meditate on his position in the zodiac. Ketu has been moving slowly backwards through the sign of Aquarius, but we have a slight change as he moves from Purvabhardra nakshatra to Shatabishak nakshatra (the lunar mansions) on August 5.

Shatabishak spans from 6º40' - 20º00' Aquarius and is ruled by the planet Rahu and by the deity Varuna, lord of the western direction and of the celestial ocean, an omniscient being who catches in his snares those who prevaricate.

Shatabishak is also known as the domain of the "100 healers" so carries with it the power of medicines and those who work in the healing arts. With Rahu both owning and aspecting this nakshatra at the moment, this theme of medicinal healing is highlighted.

With Ketu entering into this position, we must remember Ketu's strengths and weaknesses. Being headless, Ketu is prone to mistakes and thoughtless action. Being headless, Ketu is the best meditator and helps strengthen intuition (as opposed to rational logic.)

Ketu will transit Shatabishak until mid-April, 2017. Use your intuition during this time when it comes to healing plans and double check those who are your assistants in the healing process, as they may be prone to making mistakes or missing obvious clues in diagnosis and treatment.

Jupiter Enters Virgo August 11

Jupiter takes about one year to travel through each sign of the zodiac. On the morning of August 11, Jupiter moves from the sign of Leo to the sign of Virgo, spending the next thirteen months in Mercury's earth sign.

One thing that stands out with Jupiter's move to Virgo is the escape from the direct gaze of Saturn, who has the power to influence planets and signs that sit ten places away from himself. Another thing is Jupiter's move away from Rahu, who has thrown instability and confusion into the path of the generally straightforward, truthful Jupiter.

While many were expecting golden results from Jupiter in Leo, both the aspect of Saturn (the whole transit) and the conjunction with Rahu (since January 2016) have made this transit of Jupiter through the Sun's sign of Leo quite complicated.

Jupiter's shift to Virgo may bring some changes to various aspects of each individual's life. For personal results, one could reflect back to the last transit of Jupiter in Virgo, which was from August 27, 2004 to September 27, 2005.

Jupiter, like all of the planets, will affect the sign where he sits as well as the sign opposite; in this new position, we are talking about Virgo and Pisces. Additionally, Jupiter is associated with aspecting to each sign that is trine to where he sits, including all of the signs of the same element, in this case, the earth signs: Virgo, Capricorn and Taurus.

With relative freedom from having difficult associations in his new position, Jupiter's positive, expansive qualities should be able to flow, especially to the signs mentioned in the last paragraph. The only challenging aspect is that of Rahu, who gives aspect to the sign 2nd from where he sits. Think about how smoke lingers in a room even after the source of the smoke is removed. This is the situation for Virgo until Rahu moves to Cancer in August, 2017. It won't be quite as much of an impact on Jupiter as conjunction, but we may be dealing with that lingering smoke and obfuscation of Rahu during Jupiter's time in Virgo.

During the time that Jupiter is shifting signs, the Moon will be passing through the sign of Scorpio and the Saturn/Mars conjunction there, from August 11-13. This three-day period may produce some interesting events as we wrap our minds around what could be shifting in our own situations, both internally and externally.

Saturn is moving particularly slowly at this time as he completes his retrograde cycle and resumes direct motion on August 13. Worry, anxiety, fear, anger or mental pressure may factor heavily during this time with the Moon moving through its sign of debilitation and past both Mars and Saturn.

Saturn Resumes Direct Motion August 13

Before dawn on August 13, the great Shanidev comes to a stop and turns around for another round of slow, forward motion at 16° Scorpio, in the last quarter of the nakshatra Anuradha. This marks the end of the Saturn retrograde period of 2016, which began on March 25.

Saturn's effects include obstruction, limitation and difficulty, which can sometimes be perceived as penalty or punishment. Retrograde planets can both deliver stronger effects and/or reversed effects. So, for a couple of weeks in late August, we have all of the planets moving and pushing in their "normal" direction (until Mercury begins a retrograde cycle on August 30.)

Saturn's direct motion will be coupled with Jupiter's escape from Saturn's aspect, so with two slow-moving planets making shifts in mid-August, we could see a period of time where things begin to move and shift that have been impeded or blocked.

Sun Transits Leo August 16 – September 15

The Sun leaves Cancer for Leo on the morning of Tuesday, August 16, joining Rahu, Mercury and Venus. It is always important to remember that this region between Cancer and Leo is a gandanta point, one of three in the zodiac that fall between the water and fire signs. Gandanta means "knot" and these points are considered important junctures in the zodiac that invite transformational actions.

This crossing of the Sun into Leo from Cancer happens each year in mid-August and may signal at least a small annual event that requires some letting go, effort, battle or sacrifice. While Cancer is the natural sign of the home and the mother, Leo is the natural sign of the world stage and the father. In many places, this is the time to get children ready for the new school year, as they move from the safety, protection and comfort of home into a learning environment that will require personal merit and individual action.

This annual shift is joined this year by the shift of Jupiter to Virgo and the return of Saturn to forward motion. The sign of Leo has been prepped for whatever new stage is being set by the chaotic presence of Rahu and the highly energetic Venus and Mercury also passing through the Sun's sign.

While our local star, the Sun, can be considered to be a malefic influence due to the extreme heat and light emitted, it is also a planet that sheds light in every dark corner, reminding us to take the right, true and dharmic path. With Sun transiting Leo, we may see some exposure of Rahu's antics and have an opportunity to make the turns to put us back on the correct path.

Full Moon in Aquarius August 18

Just before dawn on August 18, the Moon peaks at 2º Aquarius, in Dhanistha nakshatra. Aquarius is co-ruled by the planets Saturn and Rahu, while Mars gets rulership of Dhanistha, which spans across the junction between Capricorn and Aquarius.

The Moon will be aspected by a host of influences; Ketu, joining the Moon in Aquarius, the Sun, Mercury and Venus from Leo and Mars from his own sign of Scorpio. Only Saturn and Jupiter will not influence this particular full Moon by aspect. Saturn, however is still the ruler of Aquarius is and is coming quite close to conjunction with Mars, so that energy will be present also to some extent.

With so many planets joining into this strong Moon, we may feel a bit overwhelmed by how our minds are assimilating the events that occur during this time. The best advice is to go with Ketu's plan; sit quietly and meditate in order to keep stability and perspective. There is a whole lot of shifting going on!

Mercury Enters Virgo August 19

Mercury enters Virgo on August 19, his own sign and also his sign of exaltation, meaning we are in for a spell of strong Mercury energy which will support communication, business transactions, marketing, networking and studies.

Mercury will enter Virgo on August 19 and exits to Libra on October 20, but in the meantime has a retrograde period from August 30 – September 21 that takes him back into Leo on September 8. Direct motion of Mercury takes him back into Virgo on October 3, after which time he quickly advances to Libra on October 20.

The periods of time that Mercury will be in Virgo are from August 19 – September 8 and from October 3 – 20.

Mercury is a great ally in the sense of flexibility, quick understanding and neutrality. With the change of Jupiter to Virgo, Mercury's presence there could help us to reorganize and reorient, especially in the realm of teaching or study, as the joining of the eternal teacher (Jupiter) and the eternal student (Mercury) is supportive of the expansion and dispensation of knowledge.

Saturn-Mars Conjunction August 23 - 24

The Saturn/Mars conjunction in Scorpio has been a great factor in the planetary weather of 2016. These two powerful, challenging planets have been creating pressure and energy in the fixed signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. The two are placed in Scorpio and are both directly aspecting Taurus, which is the opposite sign from Scorpio. Additionally, Mars aspects the 4th place from him (Aquarius) and Saturn aspects the 10th place from him (Leo.)

The fixed signs are named as such because they act as regions of the zodiac where the energy is difficult to change or move. Those with fixed signs prominent in their horoscopes may be labeled as "stubborn" or may be difficult to push into new situations or projects. Fixed signs are good places for staying or finishing, but difficult for initiating or changing.

With Saturn and Mars both falling into the category of "tamas" which we understand as energy that is stable, heavy and dark, this configuration has been quite supportive of things remaining as they are, despite our desire for movement and change.

When Mars moves past Saturn and exits Scorpio, we may feel at least some relief as this heavy energy breaks up and allows some movement and change to begin in the realms of life that are defined by the fixed signs in our charts.

That said, the power of Mars in his own sign of Scorpio is nothing to be dismissed. This factor has possibly helped us to work through difficult situations and gain inner strength and courage. The addition of Saturn to this equation may have created another level of obstruction and pressure that has slowed and challenged even the powerful Mars. The end result of months of this interaction may be that we feel tired, defeated and frustrated in certain aspects of life.

The exact conjunction of Mars and Saturn comes around daybreak on Aug 24, but we may feel the friction mounting during the days before the exact conjunction, as well as the fallout of the meeting for a few days after. This tension should begin to relax as Mars moves away from Saturn and out of Scorpio finally on September 17.

Venus Transits Virgo August 25 – September 18

By August, we should be seeing Venus and Mercury more clearly in the western sky just after sunset. Venus follows Mercury into Virgo on August 25, taking a few weeks to move through its sign of debilitation.

Venus being with Mercury in Virgo is helpful to Venus, as exalted Mercury turns around Venus' debilitation. These two energetic planets are joining Jupiter in the early degrees of Virgo; all three will be very close during August 27-28.

With Virgo being the natural sign of health and healing, ruled by Mercury itself who is associated with the earth element, prithvi tattwa, we may feel called to review and readjust our daily routines, diets and exercise regimens. Venus' debilitation in Virgo is always somewhat challenging to understand, as Mercury and Venus are natural friends and are both considered rajasic (energetic) in nature.

Venus carries with it the energy of purity and creative spark, which in some regards requires protection in order to maintain and nurture. Mercury is less attached to purity and will find the connections to keep things flowing. With Virgo being the earth sign of Mercury, as well as the 6th sign in the zodiac, associated with the harvest of fruit and digestion of food, the lofty, graceful and rare ways of Venus may be somewhat "debilitated."

Venus joining Mercury and Jupiter brings the element of society and relationship into the realm of growth through learning and assimilating a healthier way to live. While we can only control (or think we can) our personal choices and actions in order to improve our health and wealth, Venus may help introduce the concept that by caring about ourselves and improving our quality of life through right food and right action, we are actually supporting all living beings, as we are all truly connected and interdependent. Venus may inspire us even more toward self-care, right diet and right activity as we see that caring for ourselves helps us to care for others.

Mercury Retrograde August 30 – September 21

We will explore Mercury's retrograde period more fully in the September 2016 forecast, but this is fair warning about the upcoming cycle from August 30 – September 21.

As always, it is best to avoid important actions, especially those that are in the vein of long-term establishment, such as starting a business, getting married, important contracts, etc. Travel is fine, just expect the effects that strong Mercury can give such as communication and scheduling glitches.

Medical treatment is actually favorable during Mercury in Virgo, so when the retrograde is in effect, just make sure to double check medications and schedules. Second opinions are good, as would be trusting your own research and intuition.

Mercury retrograde is strong Mercury, so slow yourself down and be pro-active in creating calm situations that don't require split-second decisions. Get plenty of rest, plan a light schedule and get into natural environments regularly to keep Mercury happy and calm. Backing up computer hard drives and mobile phone content won't hurt, either, especially before the retrograde period of Mercury begins!

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